Team Update - August 2014
During August the team spent much of its time on this year's main projects, the Red Tarn to Crinkle Crags Path and stabilisation work on Striding Edge. These are both being done jointly with the West Lakes team and are progressing well. The Striding Edge project work is almost complete for this year but there is plenty still to do on the path to Crinkle Crags.
West Lakes team working on stabilising parts of the Helvellyn headwall
August included our second working holiday of the year. A working holiday involves a group of up 12 volunteers coming to spend a week carrying out conservation work. Our group stayed at High Wray Basecamp, the South Lakes volunteer centre near Hawkshead, and spent 5 days with the team carrying out upland footpath work.
On the first day we took the group on a "drain run" along the path from the Three Shires Stone up past Red Tarn and towards Crinkle Crags. This involved clearing the drains and any debris from the stone-pitched path surfaces, a good introduction to upland path work. Unfortunately, the weather was some of the worst for a while with buffeting winds and periods of icy rain. We wondered if they would all return the next day.....
A cold, wet & windy drain run
All the volunteers returned for day 2 and the weather improved considerably. The next two day's of the working holiday were spent on the path to Crinkle Crags. The aim was to remove side routes and reduce a widening erosion scar using landscaping techniques. This should help create a more manageable single path line, which hopefully walkers will be inclined to follow.
Group Stretching at the Three Shires Stone before the day's work begins
Landscaping out side-route erosion and defining the path line
(& much nicer weather too!)
After a well earned rest day for the working holiday group we took them to the Tongue Gill path, part of the Coast to Coast route, for the final two day's work. The task here was building a section of stone pitched path around bedrock where people were spreading out and an erosion problem was developing.
The rock for this work came from the excavations for the recently completed Tongue Gill Hydro scheme, generously given to Fix the Fells by the owner of the scheme. As we always try to use rock local to an area for a project this rock donation was very welcome.
Pitching in progress on Tongue Gill
This month also saw the arrival of shelter for our project near Crinkle Crags. It is quite common for the team to have a temporary shed on the fells for storage and shelter during a project. However weather conditions during the helicopter lifts earlier this year meant that it had not been possible to move a shed to site. In August a helicopter was back in the area for another job and when they offered to tag our shed lift onto this we jumped at the opportunity.
Flat packed shed ready for construction
(Not a bad location too)
South & West Construction Team in Action
The shed was built just in time for a 3 day work party with the Fix the Fells volunteer lengthsmen on the path to Crinkle Crags. It proved worthwhile too as some wet weather typical of a South Lakes team work party was experienced.
So much for the shed - most of the lengthsmen were too polite to go in!
Some participants were less reserved about using the shed
Despite some poor weather there was a good turnout of lengthsmen over the 3 days and this has helped move the project forward. A variety of good quality work was completed, including landscaping and path definition, drainage work and some stone-pitched path work.
Stone pitching path work supervised by Hamish
Landscaping & path definition work supervised by Ian
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